Events

#MennoniteColleges

MCUSA Convention 2011

MCUSA Convention 2011

Last month I had a new, but awesome experience! First, for some background, I grew up Mennonite and, yes, I did a lot of Mennonite-y things! I went to all of the youth events that I could. I loved things like the junior high youth event, Know Jesus, put on by Hesston College, junior high youth event, Snow Camp, put on by Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp, and the Mennonite Church USA high school youth conventions during the summer. Convention, especially, was a week-long-super-exhausting-but-always-high-energy event.

What does this have to do with my new, but awesome experience? Well, at Know Jesus and Snow Camp, the people that attended were mostly from around the area. Snow Camp was in Colorado and Know Jesus was in Kansas. Most of the youth that I met there mainly knew about Hesston and Bethel College, just like I did. However, when I went to Convention, it was a whole different story! There were booths set up from Bethel, Hesston, EMU, CMU, Goshen, Bluffton, and yes I might have forgotten some others. I visited all of the booths that week, but when I left, put the other colleges out of my mind.

College Reps at Menno Haven

College Reps at Menno Haven

My new, but awesome experience was at Menno Haven Camp in Illinois this January, where I was a representative from Bethel College. Katelyn Melgren and I were the only representatives who did not know anyone else. Many of the reps started out at Hesston College and then went to a different Mennonite college. But, they were all still friends. As Katelyn and I maneuvered our way into this already tightly knit circle, I began to see the beauty of each of the colleges they were at. I had this weird sense that I was missing out on something awesome. I wanted to be able to experience places like Goshen or Bluffton, but also be able to experience Bethel. Previously I have not had any desire to experience other Mennonite colleges. I am NOT SAYING THAT I WANT TO LEAVE BETHEL, AT ALL. It is more that I want to know the people at these other colleges. Honestly, I got to know the above people for only two days… and that’s all. But, I already miss the fun of bringing community together, especially across college boundaries.

 

December is Here!

group gala This past week was very busy! I had multiple assignments due all at once, including a 30 minute presentation and multiple papers. Friday was reading day, oh, and also Gala! I do not think much “reading” was done on this day. So, Gala happened Friday night. We had a delicious meal in Memorial Hall, which was very beautifully decorated. Next was a cold walk over to the FAC for the jazz concert. All of the musicians did a wonderful job! After that, we walked over to the president’s house where we were served cookies and could take pictures with Santa! Finally there was a dance that I heard was a great time.

linaTwo days later, we had some more fun-but-distracting-from-studying events. The first was Lighting of the Green. I helped out with this event by passing out candles and then lighting them. For a person who is not very good with lighters to begin with, this was a very difficult task in the bitter cold. But, the candles, singing, and company was totally worth braving the weather.

 Immediately after Lighting of the Green, everyone could head over to the caf for a nacho bar and presents from the Bethel Parent’s council. All Bethel students received a Mojo’s gift card- which is one the best kind of gifts to get! This was also a tacky Christmas sweater party. I saw some pretty tacky sweaters. However, Allan Jantz’s was not supposed to be tacky… in case you were wondering!  

Today is Tuesday, the 10th of December. I had one final yesterday, took two already today, and have one left at seven tonight. After that I am done with school for a few weeks! Well, almost. I plan to stick around to finish up my service learning volunteer hours and work at my campus job for some extra Christmas money!

Worship and the Arts Symposium

This past weekend was the Worship and the Arts Symposium. The event that I was a part of was the Saturday evening Accompany them with singing worship service. The concert choir (which I am a part of), along with the Women’s Chorus, Men’s Ensemble and many church choirs from around the area sang some pieces alone as well as also singing with the congregation in attendance.  It was a wonderful service. Not only was it fun to have John Ferguson come for the symposium to conduct us, or that I got to sing with, and at the same time listen to wonderful four part harmony, but Tom Long’s sermon also touched me. 

Tom spoke about the story of how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and focused on it in a way I hadn’t thought about before. What he really focused in on was the reaction of Martha when Jesus shows up four days after Lazarus dies and she says: “Lord, if you would have been here my brother would not have died.” This message along with his personal experience he shared that related back to his message was very touching. I won’t begin to try and explain the message because it wouldn’t do Tom’s presentation of his sermon justice! I do however, want to mention one thing that really hit home for me. He totally changed my perception of “time.” He said that instead of our lives running out of time, death is running out of time because we have eternity. Instead of justice running out of time, all the injustices are running out of time. Instead of all the good things running out of time, all the bad things are running out of time. I had never looked at time like that and seeing that new perspective was something very important to me.

I also heard from many people in the audience how much they enjoyed it and how special of an experience it was for them too.

It was a lot of work to put it all together, but it was a wonderful experience and I will be looking forward to attending the next one!

The Bethel Blood Drive

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Nolan Corne donating blood

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Madelyn Weaver and myself

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Just some of the Red Cross blood drive crew!

1258 November has been a very busy month for me! As a co-leader of Bethel SCAN (Student Community Action Network) I was in charge of the blood drive this semester. While you might think this would not be very hard, there were actually many different tasks I had to finish before the blood drive could be a success.

First, I had to make sure we had pizza for people to eat after giving blood. Pizza Hut and Papa John’s were both extremely helpful and had no problem donating pizzas for the cause. We received four pizzas, plates, and napkins from both places. Any snack items besides the pizza were supplied by the Red Cross. I was also involved in multiple meetings and phone calls with our blood drive coordinator, Geneva Land.

Madelyn Weaver and I hung posters all over Bethel’s campus. Alyssa Scheuerman, Madelyn Weaver, Kathryn Kelman, and I handed out fliers after convo one day. But, by far the biggest duty I had was to get enough blood donors to sign up. So, Shianne DeFreese and I sat outside of the cafeteria almost everyday for two weeks. As I’m sure you all noticed! A few community members also called or emailed me and joined our cause to donate blood. 

The day of the blood drive, some members of the Bethel football team, along with some other guys, came and helped unload the blood drive truck in the morning. There is a lot of equipment needed for a blood drive! Then, throughout the day I had volunteers coming in every hour. These volunteers included: Olivia Gehring, Javen Zellner, Alyssa Scheuerman, Katrina Regehr, Rachel Evans, Mallory Black, Jessica Ebenkamp, Aaron Topham, Lina Adame, Emily Wedel, Tana Myers, Koki Lane (who was also in charge of picture taking), Rachel Unruh, Raul Silva, Katelyn Melgren, Jared Regehr, Sarah Cunningham, and Madelyn Weaver. Michelle Unruh also picked up some supplies for the blood drive. After the blood drive was over, the Bethel tennis team came to help load all of the equipment back into the truck. Of course, I cannot forget all of the blood donors. Over all we had 68 people come to donate and of them, 57 were able to donate. This means we saved 171 lives in only four hours! Good job Bethel!

Lastly I would like to thank Ada Schmidt-Tieszen, Madelyn Weaver, and Shianne DeFreese for helping me plan the blood drive. 

Fall Break: Where Has The Time Gone?

I titled my last blog “The Days Go Slow, The Weeks Go Fast…” Again, this couldn’t be more accurate. Not only was I thinking this about Fall Break which has only one more day before school starts up again, but also the fact that our first semester of this school year is already half over! 

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To recap on this semester so far:

Fun with my mod: Celebrating birthdays, mod movie nights, playing games watching New Girl and Grey’s Anatomy, painting nails and more!

Carnival On The Green: The fun beginning of the school year event with lots of games, foods and prizes! This is where I got three of my Bethel T-shirts, the majority of my plastic dinnerware and my large stash of Kool-Aid Jammers:)

Football/Soccer/Volleyball/Softball Games: Getting to watch and support all of the sports who have games going on in the fall! Also since I am a part of the tennis team we have been helping with the football concession stands which is a lot of work but fun as well!

Tennis Tournaments: We had a few tennis matches this fall even though Tabor_Quad_Photoour actual season isn’t until the spring. It felt like a pretty successful year and we ended it with the ITA which is our regional individual tournament.  The individual winners of men’s and women’s singles and doubles get to go to nationals. We had several people in both singles and doubles make it to the quarterfinals and one person make it to the semi’s so it was a very successful tournament!

Taste of Newton: Walking down Main Street there was delicious food, wonderful company, good music and entertainment and more delicious food! (Verenike, bierocks, apple dumplings with ice cream, cherry limeades and more!)

Fall Fest:  Chilly weather, friends and family, lots of booths, lots of food including more verenike:), trinkets, photo booth, the play, a volleyball game a football game and more!            

 

What to look forward to:

Fall weather: The weather cooling down, sweatshirts and extra blankets

Fall colors: The leaves changing to beautiful oranges, reds and yellows that are worthy of many pictures.

Bethel Basketball: Watching and cheering on our Men’s and Women’s teams this year!

KU Basketball:  Every year during KU basketball season I go home to Hesston watch as many of the games as I can with my parents, sister and Weaver uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents. I also bring whoever of my friends and modmates want to come as well!

Thanksgiving Break:  Another break from school, delicious food and good quality time with my family!

Christmas Break: The biggest break from schoolwork:), family, friends, “Christmas goodies” (chocolates, baked goods), hot chocolate, snow, snowmen, presents, lots of family time!

Interterm: Europe: The Concert Choir gets to go on a trip to Europe including Poland, Germany and the Netherlands! We will be gone for three weeks, singing and sightseeing and I can’t wait!

A Weekend Away

Hey guys! Sorry it has been so long; this semester has definitely been a busy one! Although my schedule has been very full this semester, I enjoyed a short weekend off campus at Camp Mennoscah. My church, Tabor Mennonite Church, was having our bi-annual weekend campout at Camp Mennoscah.

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Smiling faces covered in taco salad and chocolate cake!

My family set out early Saturday afternoon. When we got to camp, we started moving into our cabin. We stayed in Sunrise this year. Members of our church stayed in the retreat center, in staff houses, or tents. We set off on a nature hike on Saturday afternoon. We found spiders, lizards, and many bugs. This is one of my favorite parts of camp: the opportunity to slow down and realize the beauty of nature that surrounds the camp. For supper, it is often a Camp Mennoscah tradition to eat taco salad without silverware or hands. My table decided to continue this tradition, and we ended up looking very messy! After supper, we left on a hayrack ride as the sun was setting.  Our theme for the weekend was “Radical Hospitality.” We talked about ways that we can welcome all people into God’s family. Marlene Bogard was our speaker for the weekend. She spoke at both campfire and at our Sunday morning worship. After campfire, we got into a very competitive game of four-square. We ended the night with several hours of SCUM, a card game. We played late (or early!) into the night!

DSCN2597We woke up very early on Sunday morning to start cooking breakfast. My family and another family worked together to make sure that breakfast was ready to go for the rest of the hungry campers. After a worship service and some more four-square and wood tag, we decided to spend some time by the river. Camp Mennoscah is located along the Ninnescah River. There is a dam with a very pretty waterfall. I find this to be a very peaceful and relaxing location to just sit and take in the beauty. Soon after lunch, it was time to leave camp and head back to our busy lives, which had been so patiently waiting for us to return.

DSCN2561We live in a world filled with technology, and I often find myself surrounded by it. When we left for camp, I realized that I accidentally left my cell phone at home. As the weekend went on, I realized that it was a good thing for me to get away from technology to spend time with others building new relationships and strengthening others. It was so necessary to get away for a weekend and spend some quality time with my church family. This weekend away was a learning experience for me as I took some time to slow down and take note of the beauty that surrounds me.

Bethel Fall Fest 2013

This week was a crazy time on Bethel campus! For students, professors, maintenance, and anyone else connected with planning any part of fall fest. As a student, I love this time of year! Each day this past week I got more and more excited as there were more tents and chairs set up everyday (a big thank you to the people who helped with this). It got really difficult to focus on school work as the week went on. Who would want to read a text book when fall fest was so close??

fall festFor many students at Bethel the fun started Thursday evening with Taste of Newton. Instead of going to the caf for supper, many of us drove over to main street for the annual Newton celebration. A big section of main street was blocked off and was, instead, full of tents and tables with foods and other goods. There is always quite the variety of booths at Taste of Newton; a few that stood out to me were the fire pit for making smores, the homemade root beer stand, and the verenike booth. Verenike is my favorite thing to eat at Taste of Newton, but I also saw lots of other good foods: ice cream, chinese food, mexican food, corn on the cob, grilled chicken, and much more. There are normally great entertainment options also: dancers, martial art displays, and many different musical groups. It was a fun evening!

Next was the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) symposium. This started Friday afternoon and continued again Saturday morning. Three Bethel alumni presented on the topic of chemistry. I found what they had to say very interesting, but I was also reminded about how little I know about chemistry! Also on Saturday morning was the Kidron Bethel Country Breakfast to which my sister, a friend, and myself were invited by a lovely lady from my home church. Though it was early, it was definitely worth it! The dining hall at Kidron was filled with smiling faces and delicious breakfast foods!

Finally Bethel Fall Fest arrived! My first activity of the day was working the Bethel Social work booth. We were selling all sorts of good cookies and some awesome v-neck t shirts. Jacob Miller and I were quite the sales people! Next, I had half an hour to talk to millions of people and eat all the lunch I could. First, I got some zwiebach and then I ran over to the verenike booth. Thankfully my older brother was there to buy me and some others some delicious verenike! As I was quickly eating this, I went over to the culture shock booth to help serve curry. It seemed like the curry was quite a hit! After this, I took a few laps around all of the booths, stopped by the bookstore and Mojo’s, and then went over to the volleyball game.

fall fest gameLater I took a nap and then went over to a tail gate before the football game. Thanks to the Rudeen/Goering family for the food and fellowship! The football game was cold, but fun! The boys fought hard, but ended up losing. Finally I went over to Reba’s with some friends to listen to the Bethel jazz combo 1 perform.

Sunday morning I got up early to warm up for the Bethel college concert choir performance at Bethel College Mennonite Church. The church was very full and it was a great service! It was a great fall fest! 

Family Weekend

 My family does not live very far from Bethel… about twenty minutes to be exact.  So, when I heard Bethel was having a Family Weekend, I was not too excited. I can go home very easily and didn’t really see the point in inviting my family here for a special weekend. Because of this, I did not even bother telling my parents about family weekend. That is until about two days before, when I got an email about family weekend and decided I should at least forward it to my family. 

Little did I know! My parents were SUPER excited to come to family weekend! They called me up and wanted to know all about it. Honestly, I could not tell them much, but they said they would come for lunch the next day and then see what the rest of the day would bring. The next day around noon I met my parents and two younger sisters (Katrina is also attending Bethel) for lunch. My friend Katelyn Melgren also joined the Regehr family for that day. We were treated to an awesome lunch outside the Caf where many tables were set up. It was a great day for eating outside! Here is a picture that was taken by Vada Snider.

 After lunch we skipped over to Kauffman Museum (it was free admission for family weekend). Most of my family had been there before, but there was an awesome new display on the WPA, which stands for Work Progress Administration. The WPA was part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Besides this new display, all of the year round displays were very interesting. We learned about Anabaptist history, the Mennonites journey from Europe to the Central Plains in the 1870′s, and many other cool things about countries from all over the world! Also, we saw many awesome pieces of Mennonite immigrant furniture. 

 Next, we ran over to Thresher Gym to watch the volleyball games. Bethel went up against Manhattan Christian in a close game, but ended up losing 2 matches to 3 matches. Then it was time for the family to head home.

 Next day, they were back! Bethel College Mennonite Church welcomed all students and their families to come and worship with them for the morning. After that, my family went over to the Caf for the brunch that was being offered. My dad, especially, greatly enjoyed the food! All in all it was a great weekend, and I think it can grow into quite the tradition for years to come!

 

Christmas Gala

Last night was the annual Christmas Gala. It felt a little weird having it in November, but that’s how the schedule fell this year. Gala is a night where most of the student body gets dressed up and eats a fancy dinner in Memorial Hall, which is turned into a winter wonderland for the evening. There were icicle lights hanging from the ceiling (which is an impressive feat considering the height of the ceiling), trees everywhere, and a nice little picturesque setting on the stage ready for photographs of everyone in their fancy clothes. I went with a group of friends and we all ate dinner together before going to the jazz concert. Jazz I and II give a fancy concert on Gala every year, and they are phenomenal. It’s also great because a lot of people come to the Gala concert who don’t usually come to jazz concerts, so it gets a different part of the student body excited about music. After the jazz concert there was a reception at the president’s house. There were cookies and hot chocolate and Santa Claus was ready for pictures. I didn’t take advantage of the Santa pictures, but the hot chocolate really hits the spot at that point. There were also horse-drawn carriage rides outside of the president’s house, but I’ve never gone on one because the line is always really long. Gala is a really fun way to celebrate the end of classes. Now we just have to get through finals week! Merry early Christmas!

Giving gifts and saving money too!

Seasons Greetings everyone!

Christmas is just around the corner and if you’re a broke college  student like me, you might appreciate some gift advice. We all want to get that perfect gift for our loved ones, but sometimes we just don’t have the necessary funds.  With so many people to find gifts for, you may need other options rather than purchasing one for each.

There is a solution though, instead of buying expensive gifts for each person on your list, consider making a homemade one yourself. Most people are not going to want you to break the bank for them, but they will appreciate the time you took to make a personalized gift.

If you feel you’re just not that crafty, don’t worry there are many websites that have easy step-by-step instructions for making gifts. Pinterest is a great place to start, there are thousands of DIY ideas that you could use. Don’t rule out baked goods either, a nice food basket with cookies, candies, and other knick knacks is an inexpensive way to show someone you care.

Be sure to think about the personalities of each person, this has a large impact on the things you can include. Pay close attention to their hobbies and interests to get an idea of what items they might like.

Truly meaningful gifts don’t have to be expensive, they just need to show that you’ve taken the time to think about the person. Happy Holidays and good luck with your gift giving!

~Samantha